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George Acs  

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  • Getting Back To Business [View article]
    Back before weekly contracts were available VMW was a favorite. It fell out of favor for me until it recently started trading weekly contracts. I think it is a potentially good trade on Monday, especially if some or most of Friday's big advance is reversed.

    Broadcom isn't a stock that I follow, but it was the first stock my youngest son bought a couple of years ago. He barely got out of his 3 share position
    Oct 20, 2013. 08:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Back To Business [View article]
    But wait, I'm a liberal, so how's that going to work?
    Oct 20, 2013. 08:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Back To Business [View article]
    With good behavior you may only have 20-25 years to work on it.
    Oct 20, 2013. 08:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Back To Business [View article]
    Some states do provide orthodontic care under the Medicaid or S-CHPS program, however, you can be assured that no dentist is going to use an ALGN product to deliver that care to specific populations It is far too expensive, particularly since Medicaid reimbursement rates tend to be significantly lower than prevailing private practice fees. That will never be a market for ALGN, although it is potentially a large market, unless reimbursement rates are significantly increased or ALGN evolves its product technology to lower product cost significantly.

    The bottom line from an ethical perspective is that the end result of care be indistinguishable upon the basis of payment. There is no requirement, ethical or otherwise, to provide the same path to care based upon payment status.
    Oct 20, 2013. 01:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Back To Business [View article]
    Since you asked, I'll volunteer my opinions.

    I think, that in general, the concept of the market being able to discount the future is entirely overstated. Our perceptions are entirely conjectural and we are great at using hindsight and revisionist history to make facts conform to our theories.

    I also don't think that most members of Congress "attempt to do harm to the US economy." I think that they simply don't care about any short term gyrations that their actions may cause, if their actions are beneficial to their interests, which are entirely focused on re-election, at least for House of Representative members.
    Oct 20, 2013. 01:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Back To Business [View article]
    I'm not certain that I agree with your third world premise. The cost of an Invisalign treatment is actually fairly expensive and in the US often is provided at a premium fee. The appliances (as multiple appliances are necessary) is not more easily in the reach of populations that are otherwise disenfranchised from care. In fact, it may further distance them.

    Traditionally, orthodontic therapy in most of the rest of the world, including Western Europe was through the use of simple removable appliances, such as retainers with adjusting springs and not what we in the US think of as braces. The retainers or more complex activator or functional appliances were far less expensive and delivered a less precise treatment outcome, but often meeting desired objectives that typically fell short of what could be accomplished with traditional braces.

    That kind of treatment approach was actually far less expensive in that far fewer visits and man hours were required. Additionally, what we think of as "orthodontists," which are a dime a dozen in US, were relatively rare in the rest of the world. The vast majority of orthodontic care in the rest of the world was and is provided by non-orthodontists.

    In the US general dentists had traditionally provided near the majority of care, but in the past 20 years that has decreased, up until recently, in large part due to ALGN.

    Additionally, dental care, including orthodontic care, where available is typically outside of the realm of any national health program, if one exists, in most countries. Dental care, especially discretionary care, was offered by the private sector, which was sanctioned or tolerated even in the Communist era.

    The beauty of ALGN is that it supplies a premium product that is in increasing demand by dentists and patients and is without meaningful competition. Are there opportunities in other countries? Absolutely, but only for those populations that can afford an even more expensive level of care.
    Oct 20, 2013. 01:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Back To Business [View article]
    As a Pediatric Dentist, I can tell you that ALGN is just a means to capitalize not on the mindset for "beautification" but rather to capture the need for additional, non-insurance related profit centers in dental practices, especially among non-orthodontists.

    The need for beautification has long been established. WHat ALGN offers is for dentists to provide an increasingly wide range of orthodontic services and now to a wider age range of patients, without the extensive training and education necessary to perform comprehensive orthodontic therapy.

    As I mentioned in last week's article, it allows a monkey to provide well re-imbursed services, that at least among pre-teen and adolescent populations aren't discretionary expenditures.
    Oct 20, 2013. 12:04 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Back To Business [View article]
    Thank you.

    I probably saved the spreadsheet open to last week's tab, rather than this week.. I have re-saved and reloaded it so that it should open to this week's tab first.

    Thanks again
    Oct 20, 2013. 11:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Back To Business [View article]
    Never waste the gains. I can tell you that with great hindsight certainty and I'm sure I'm not alone on that regard.

    I think you are right about tax related selling. It will likely keep a floor on price. I think, for example, that has also kept Apple shares lower, as the one year anniversary of hitting its peak price occurred in early September and the difference between a long term and short term capital loss is significant, perhaps another 50+ points on Apple to the upside for the investor sitting on the paper loss.
    Oct 20, 2013. 11:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Back To Business [View article]
    Thank you, yes you're absolutely right. They won't report for another 4 weeks.

    In the case of PETM it's hard to say that they were using budget theatrics as an excuse for revising their comps guidance. They referred to the "backdrop of a challenged consumer" and "soft traffic."

    That "backdrop" wasn't further defined as to whether it was specifically related to the then ongoing issues or reflective or a more systemic problem. If referring to the government shutdown you might expect that any adverse impact felt in product purchases at PETM would experience some catch-up, other than perhaps grooming or hotel services. I continue to look at the language used as being negative and perhaps reflecting an early sign of a more systemic problem.
    Oct 20, 2013. 11:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Back To Business [View article]
    Thank you. Fortunately in my private life I don't have to live up to those inspirational standards. It's so much easier doing it on paper.
    Oct 20, 2013. 10:47 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Choosing To Go 'Risk On' [View article]
    You probably meant to post your most recent comment on some other article. Otherwise, good luck.
    Oct 14, 2013. 10:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Choosing To Go 'Risk On' [View article]
    Yes, see "A LEAP of Faith"

    Also, I do so for occasional positions that are well below their purchase price and finally, I will sell deep out of the money calls on portfolio hedges, such as VXX or AGQ
    Oct 14, 2013. 08:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Choosing To Go 'Risk On' [View article]
    I re-purchased FAST (lost 2 lots to September assignment) last week after the big earnings hit and sold November calls. The selling was so was so over done, but I do look at FAST as being somewhat of a barometer of the economy. When it does well and its margins aren't being squeezed, everyone is doing well, so there may be some reason to be concerned.
    Oct 13, 2013. 08:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Choosing To Go 'Risk On' [View article]

    It is amazing at how much return you can generate from stocks that by all appearances are non-performers. I haven't owned shares of HD in about a year, but the others you mentioned are all like annuities.

    I get a good chuckle every time someone refers to Microsoft as being dead money and then just know that its near term price peak has arrived as everyone suddenly discovers its virtues.

    For example, in 2013 alone, I have owned JOY (one of the stocks referred to as a "value trap" on 7 separate occasions at an average cost of $54.96 and an average strike price of $54.86. The cumulative return even though the stock is currently trading at about $51? 19.6%. ANF? Another value trap? About 37% in 17 months, also despite in being priced below my average cost.

    One of the first decisions I made was to not follow the Bernard Baruch rule and close positions if they hit a 10% loss. I can't begin to imagine how much I would have lost if following that axiom. Imagine the unsaid belief that exists in that axiom. The very same person who was stupid enough to buy a stock that subsequently suffered a 10% loss is now suddenly smart enough to liquidate that position and now go and buy another position.

    With my luck that new position would lose its very own 10%. Best to let cycles ride themselves out and make money selling options and collecting dividends while waiting. Better yet, buy even more shares and collect more premiums to underwrite your paper losses.

    It really can be a no brainer and multiple regularly recurring singles can be much more gratifying than that occasional home run, especially of you neglected to run the bases.
    Oct 13, 2013. 07:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment